By: Nicholas Gallo
The St. Bonaventure Bonnies (20-6, 10-4 Atlantic-10) would shake up the national standings by upsetting nationally ranked University of Rhode Island Rams (21-4, 13-1 Atlantic 10) by a score of 77-74.
As the leader of the charge in Bonaventure’s upset over the Rams, Senior guard Matt Mobley tallied 26 points and nine rebounds.
The Rams were undefeated in conference play coming into Friday’s game and had won 22 consecutive A-10 games with 16 a game winning streak on the line. In front of hyped Bona fans and students, the Bonnie faithful made sure that the Rams weren’t going to get an easy win.
In the first half, both teams would trade buckets and the guard play was shown right away.
The Rams would be able to obtain their largest lead of the game, 67-61, with 7:44 left. The Bonnies would call a timeout with 7:03 left to find a way to trim the lead.
“There were some broken plays down the stretch that we weren’t there,” said Dan Hurley, Head Coach of the Rams. “99 percent of the time, we are the type of team that gets to the ball, but tonight they were able to make those plays before we did.”
With 6:03 left, junior forward Courtney Stockard would poke the ball from Robinson and finish with a dunk. Schmidt said the play changed the whole game because if they score they are up by eight or nine points.
After consecutive buckets from URI, they would hold a 72-68 lead with 3:53 left in the game. The next possession would be big for the Bonnies as it became utter chaos.
After a huge rebound from Griffin, he was fouled on the play and would be sent to the line. He would make both free throws giving the Bonnies a 73-72 lead with 56 seconds left.
The next defensive play for the Bonnies would end up sending URI’s sophomore forward Cyril Langevine to the free throw line. He would make both free throws forcing Bonas to call a timeout to draw up a play for the go-ahead basket.
With 20 seconds left, Adams would dish to a wide-open Griffin for a dunk giving them a 75-74 lead.
In the next possession, Sophomore guard Jeff Dowtin was be fouled at half-court by Adams sending him to the free throw line.
Dowtin missed the first free throw, leading to a Mobley rebound. He would get fouled on the play and would convert one of two free throws giving the Bonnies a 76-74 lead with 14 seconds left.
Coach Hurley called a timeout and drew up a play for Terrell. He was looking to get his guard Terrell to the lane off a hard drive. Terrell would miss the contested layup leading to another Mobley rebound and would be sent to the line again for two free throws
“We got what we wanted in the play, a strong drive to the basket,” said Hurley. “I thought the Bonas defense made a great contest on that drive and we didn’t hit the offensive glass like we did for most of the game.”
He made one of two free throws, leaving it all up to the Bonnies defense for a game ending stop. Terrell would be the URI player to have the ball and pull up a desperation heave. The Bona faithful would hold their breath and watched Terrell’s three hit the rim and miss. Bona students stormed the court in utter madness.
“Obviously disappointed in the loss, we had a lead late and we were able to have some control in the second half,” said Hurley. “We knew what the game was coming in, we knew we were playing a NCAA caliber team, we knew that we were going to have to go hell and back to win this game, but we didn’t make enough plays down the stretch.”
Bonas scored 18 points off 17 turnovers by the Rams and had 20 points off their bench. This win makes 11 straight home wins for the Wolf Pack and eight straight wins in conference play.
Bonas will continue their conference play Wednesday Feb. 21 as they will face off against the University of Duquesne at 7:00 p.m. at the Reilly Center. Bonas will look to improve their resume for the NCAA tournament and potentially a high seed in the upcoming A-10 tournament.